Louis Thomas Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) was a pioneering American jazz, blues and rhythm & blues musician,songwriter and bandleader who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as “The King of the Jukebox“, Jordan was highly popular with both black and white audiences in the later years of the swing era. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #59 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Jordan was one of the most successful African-American musicians of the 20th century, ranking fifth in the list of the all-time most successful black recording artists according to Billboard magazine’s chart methodology.
Influence on popular music
- Louis Jordan is described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “the Father of Rhythm & Blues” and “the Grandfather of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
- He is one of a number of seminal black performers who are often credited with inventing rock and roll, or at least providing many of the building blocks for the music
- Jordan was the greatest post-war exponent of the jump blues style, one of the prototypes of rock and roll
- Jordan also strongly influenced Bill Haley & His Comets, whose producer, Milt Gabler, had also worked with Jordan and attempted to incorporate Jordan’s stylings into Haley’s music
- Among Jordan’s biggest fans were Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Berry clearly modeled his musical approach on Jordan’s, changing the text from black life to teenage life, and substituting cars and girls for Jordan’s primary motifs of food, drink, money and girls.
- Jordan’s guitarist, Carl Hogan, was a particularly direct influence on Berry’s guitar style, as can be heard on the 1946 hit “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman”; Hogan’s opening single-note solo on the song was lifted essentially note-for-note by Berry on his iconic opening riff on “Johnny B. Goode“
- James Brown has also specifically cited Jordan as a major influence because of his multi-faceted talent. In the 1992 documentary Lenny Henry Hunts The Funk Brown said that Jordan had influenced him “… in every way. He could sing, he could dance, he could play, he could act. He could do it all.”
Buzz Me Baby:
Album of the day:
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